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Batang Toru is just one of many planned infrastructure projects worldwide that are officially deemed environmentally sound, despite posing serious environmental risks. For example, construction is nearly complete on a railway line through Kenya's famous Nairobi National Park, despite public outrage over an "incomplete and incompetent" environmental impact assessment. The environmental impact assessment that was carried out, experts say, significantly underestimates the number of chimpanzees that the project threatens.That is the purpose of strategic environmental assessments (SEAs).In March this year, the U.N. Environment Assembly, the world's highest-level decision-making body on the environment, adopted a resolution requiring all governments to conduct SEAs before approving any infrastructure projects.Many countries now acknowledge the relationship between economic activities and environmental outcomes, and require SEAs to be conducted before greenlighting projects.Only by ensuring that infrastructure-investment decisions are based on rigorous and credible impact assessments is it possible to reconcile economic development with the preservation of the natural environment.
Nature versus infrastructure, which will prevail?
It’s fine having policies, but the real problem is farming
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